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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Foo Fighters
Length: 20 tracks / 83:23 min
Foo Fighters are one of those bands that knows what they do well and sticks to it. They hit paydirt with The Colour and The Shape (my album of the year for 1997). Since then, they’ve been using the same formulas with less success, but each of these succeeding albums has still been solid. In Your Honor is easily their best since their magnum opus. The first of the two discs is head-bobbing pop, textured with Dave Grohl’s gravely vocals and shrink-wrapped with heavy distortion. Among the highlights…
“No Way Back,” apart from the vocal style, is sonically reminiscent of Galactic Cowboys’ “Media Slant.” “Hell” is one of the more progressive tracks, beginning as a hard rocker, lightening up and then jump-starting with a quicker tempo.
The hands-down rock anthem,
and one of the best songs released yet this year, is “The Last Song.”
It exudes exactly the same vibe I got from “New Way Home,” the final track
on The Colour and the Shape. It’s immediately catchy and builds
upon itself again and again:
This is the last song (This is the last song)I think this would have made a great closing track just like “New Way Home” and I’m not quite sure why they placed it in the middle of the first disc.
One of the many songs about heartbreak on this album has the dischord to match the lyrics. In “The Deepest Blues are Black,” Grohl sings:
The deeper the bluesWhile I prefer the first disc because it’s heavier, the second disc sweeps away the distortion to display more of the band’s hidden musical talent than any other album to date. Showcased in this set are some beautiful acoustic guitar work (especially in “On the Mend” and “Razor”) and Grohl in a normal singing voice. Highlights from disc two…
In “What If I Do?” Grohl can’t decide whether to maintain a relationship with a woman named Caroline:
Back and forth that voice of yours keeps me up at night“Friend of a Friend” is powerful in its simplicity, a non-pretentious number with lyrics that remind me of Daniel Johnston:
He plays an old guitar“Over and Out” is a work of genius, beginning slowly, then introducing bongos and cymbals in the chorus and adding violin in later verses. Grohl sings, “Are you there? Do you read me? Are you there? I don't feel you anymore” in what could be a prayer, but the lyrics don’t present a clear picture of who he is addressing.
What is clear is that In Your Honor is one of the best albums I’ve heard all year and will be enjoyed by people who enjoy rock music across the spectrum from the soft acoustic to heavy pop.
Dan Singleton 7/12/2005